Ambulance service stalwart retires after 39 years
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Mr Ian Walsmley, who retired recently just after his 60th birthday, joined Lancashire Ambulance Service in 1982, and worked at Nelson, Burnley Altham and Barnoldswick. After promotion to Leading Ambulanceman at Accrington, he graduated as a paramedic in 1991.
A period of working as Acting Director for NHS Direct North West followed, including working across the country in London, Milton Keynes and Birmingham.
However, the opportunity to return as Sector Manager for East Lancashire was too good to pass up in 2006, a role which saw Ian covering Burnley, Pendle, Rossendale, Hyndburn, Blackburn with Darwen and the Ribble Valley.
Ian, originally from Nelson, said: "I have held overall responsibility for the 270 staff across 10 ambulance stations and have always been immensely proud of the whole sector, but in particular in the way that the paramedic profession has developed over the years.
"We have seen many changes with the merger of five ambulance trusts to become North West Ambulance Service, and I was heavily involved in the standardisation of vehicle design and uniforms during that transition.
"In recent years we have seen many developments locally, notably the introduction of the new ambulance station at Burnley General Hospital and the formation of the East Lancs Falls team.
"I have also thoroughly enjoyed working closely with the East Lancs Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and East Lancashire Hospitals to ensure that our patients get the best possible care."
Father to Paul and Hannah, Ian lives in Clitheroe with his wife of 36 years, Tracy.
He added: "I had a socially distanced leaving presentation at our HQ and received some lovely presents from staff and colleagues at Burnley.
"We plan to spend more time with family and friends, whilst travel, gardening, motorcycling and DIY will also feature. I have also been a season ticket holder at Turf Moor for many many years so I'm looking forward to being able to get back to watching Burnley live when restrictions allow."